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Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Date of Publication: 1932
Binding: hardcover
Condition: VG-
Description: 215 pages, illustrations by Morton Sale. A little light minor spotting to page edges, spots to one or two pages, otherwise text clean and bright. A little wear to top & base of spine, spine darekened. Overall a good to very good copy, no d/w. Size: 8x5.5
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The Magic Walking-Stick Hardcover – 1932

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; First Edition edition (1932)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00085R082
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,825,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Buchan was born in Perth. His father was a minister of the Free Church of Scotland; and in 1876 the family moved to Fife where in order to attend the local school the small boy had to walk six miles a day. Later they moved again to the Gorbals in Glasgow and John Buchan went to Hutchesons' Grammar School, Glasgow University (by which time he was already publishing articles in periodicals) and Brasenose College, Oxford. His years at Oxford - 'spent peacefully in an enclave like a monastery' - nevertheless opened up yet more horizons and he published five books and many articles, won several awards including the Newdigate Prize for poetry and gained a First. His career was equally diverse and successful after university and, despite ill-health and continual pain from a duodenal ulcer, he played a prominent part in public life as a barrister and Member of Parliament, in addition to being a writer, soldier and publisher. In 1907 he married Susan Grosvenor, and the marriage was supremely happy. They had one daughter and three sons. He was created Baron Tweedsmuir of Elsfield in 1935 and became the fifteenth Governor-General of Canada, a position he held until his death in 1940. 'I don't think I remember anyone,' wrote G. M. Trevelyan to his widow, 'whose death evoked a more enviable outburst of sorrow, love and admiration.'

John Buchan's first success as an author came with Prester John in 1910, followed by a series of adventure thrillers, or 'shockers' as he called them, all characterized by their authentically rendered backgrounds, romantic characters, their atmosphere of expectancy and world-wide conspiracies, and the author's own enthusiasm. There are three main heroes: Richard Hannay, whose adventures are collected in The Complete Richard Hannay; Dickson McCunn, the Glaswegian provision merchant with the soul of a romantic, who features in Huntingtower, Castle Gay and The House of the Four Winds; and Sir Edward Leithen, the lawyer who tells the story of John MacNab and Sick Heart River, John Buchan's final novel. In addition, John Buchan established a reputation as an historical biographer with such works as Montrose, Oliver Cromwell and Augustus.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Y on 15 July 2012
Format: Hardcover
Most people in reading families recollect being given books which belonged to their parents or older siblings and cousins. Occasionally however one might come across an old volume with a faded inscription inside the front cover, or a bookplate, or a notification of a school prize - and then an early twentieth-century or even late-ninteenth-century date.

This was my experience with this wonderful novel. I slowly realised it had been given to my grandfather as soon as it had been published, and that it had been very much treasured. I soon learnt to love it myself. Like all the best children's books it seems to stand alone, and it has certain awkwardnessess which help create its mystique.

Some of the great children's novels deal with frustration, especially novels about magic. The children who find the Psammead, for instance, constantly wish for the wrong things. Alice can't get into the garden, and the drugs which could help her do so are constantly out of her reach. So it is here.

The little boy - a resourceful, sensible child, treated with commonsense and respect by Buchan - has first of all to identify whether he is in possession of Beauty or Bands. These are said to be the very approximate translations of the original Greek names of the Caduceus-like object which Bill has now to use.

If he has got hold of Bands, he must use the stick for noble or honourable, even retributive purposes. Beauty is far more gratificatory. Neither will co-operate if requested to perform an action outside the appointed office, and will, in fact, abandon the possessor without compunction if this is attempted.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mr df buckles on 15 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Readers should be aware that the Kindle edition is only a dozen pages - not the complete children's novel which is 150 to 300 pages depending on which edition you can obtain. This small excerpt contains the beginning, the ending, and a couple of adventures.
If you read this you will probably want to read the complete novel which is available in book form but unfortunately not currently available as a kindle book.
I give the complete novel a five star rating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. J. Pepper on 11 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
This was the only children's book that John Buchan wrote. A real shame! The story is set during WW1 about a teenage boy who buys a walking stick from a beggar - a magic walking stick that allows the boy to visit many places at his command. He has many adventures

John Buchan has everyone knows is known best for `The 39 Steps` - recently broadcast on BBC TV. But it is very much worthwhile examining the many other books he wrote - `HuntingTower` is just one of many that come to mind. There are even more adventures where John Hannah appears.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
When "electricity" was the high-tech buzzword 29 Jan. 2004
By John Bishop - Published on
Format: Paperback
My original review (below) is incorrect. I had confused this book with another. Having just recently re-read "The Magic Walking Stick" via interlibrary loan, I can confidently say: first, there are indeed two walking sticks mentioned and the hero does not know which he has; second, there is no "Spirit of Electricity" at all in this book. That was another book; third, this book is written from the perspective of England and so is royalist to a degree American readers might find surprising. In the big adventure at the end (which sounds very like other Graustarkian romances such as "Prisoner of Zenda" and "The Mad King"), the hero fights to install a boy as an autocratic monarch against a popular movement for a republic.

It's a fun read as a story. The contrast between now and then is quite large (e.g. our hero at 12 or so takes the train to London and buys a shotgun for his friend. Nobody thinks this is unusual or risky).

The "Spirit of Electricity" book is L. Frank Baum's "The Master Key".

What follows is the old review:

This book dates from a time when "electricity" was the high-tech buzzword to explain anything, as the 1950's used "radioactivity"
and we more recently use "genetics".

The hero has a walking-stick with magic powers via the "Spirit of Electricity". It's one of a pair: one will lose its power if you use for any practical purpose, and the other will lose its power if you don't. Unfortunately, our hero doesn't know which one he has.

I found this entertaining but light. Buchan has done much better work (e.g. "The Thirty-Nine Steps").
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